Numbers are something you’ll use constantly in conversational English, from amounts to times of day. Get more comfortable with the pronunciation of numbers. This video takes you all the way up to 1 billion!!
YouTube blocked? Click here to see the video.
A note about the numbers 20, 30, 40, etc. to 90: Here it is the first syllable that is stressed. 20, 30. This is what helps differentiate them from 13, where it is the second part of the word that is stressed. 30, 13.
Twenty. The official pronunciation for this is twenty, with two of these tt sounds. But as you may have noticed listening to native speakers, the second tt is not always pronounced. In fact, most of the time it’s not. Most of the time it’s pronounced twenny, with only an N sound in the second syllable. Twenny as opposed to twenty. So the word begins, tt, with the T sound, tw-. Followed by the W consonant sound where the lips form that tight circle, twe-,the ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ vowel sound [e], twen-. You can then see the front part of the tongue moves up to make that N. Twen-n-e. And the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ [i]. If you are going to pronounce it the official and proper way, twent-, you would then add the T, with the escaping air, after the N sound. Twenty. But as I said, most people will pronounce this ‘twenny’. And this is true of all of these kinds of words: 20, 30, 40, 50. You don’t hear me saying ‘twentty’, ‘thirtty’, … with that tt sound, although that would be the official pronunciation.
So, thirty. Thirty begins with the unvoiced TH sound [?], where the tongue must come through the teeth, then the ‘ur’ as in ‘her’ vowel sound [?], thir-. So the tongue pulls back as it fattens a bit and then raises. #NAME?I really feel like it functions like a D, the tongue goes up, this part of the tongue here, so it’s forward. It then makes a little bit of sound with the vocal cords before it pulls down, and then the corners of the lips pull wide, -ty, for the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. Thirty. Forty. The ff, F consonant sound, the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ [o?] followed by the R [?], for-, -ty. And again, this same ending. Forty.
Fifty. The f consonant sound, the ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’ [?], and the F consonant sound, fif-, fif-, -ty. And this same ending. Fifty. Sixty. Six, just like the number six, or the first part of 16, six, followed by -ty. Sixty. Seventy. Again, the first part is just like the number 7, or the first part of 17, seven-, seventy, with this same -ty ending. Seventy. Eighty. Now here, we don’t get the tt from -ty, but we also don’t say the tt at the end of eight. It’s ay, the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong [e?], followed by -ty.
Eighty, eighty. Ninety. 90 again has nine, just like the number 9 or in 19, nine – ty. If you’ll notice, when the tongue comes up for the second N, nin-, it’s in position to make the D sound. Nin-. So just make a little noise with your vocal cords, 90, 90. One hundred. Hundred begins with the H sound, hh, and the next sound is the ‘uh’ as in ‘butter’ sound [?]. So the mouth is in position for the ‘uh’ vowel sound, hh, as you release air for the H. Hun-, the N consonant sound, followed by -dred, the D consonant sound, the R consonant sound, the schwa [?], and the R consonant sound. -dred, -dred. So, the tongue is here for the D, pulls back a bit for the R, down for the schwa, and back up again for the D. -dred, -dred, hundred.
One thousand. Thousand begins with the unvoiced TH sound, where the tongue comes through the teeth, thou-. It opens into the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong [a?]. Thous-, zzz, voiced z sound, the schwa, N, and D sound. -sand, -sand. Thousand. One million. Million begins with the M consonant sound, mm, opens into the ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’, it then has the L that finishes the syllable, so it’s a dark L, so it has that uh before the tongue moves up to make the L, -ion. The Y consonant sound [j], followed by the schwa and the N consonant sound. Million. Billion. Almost the same, except for the first consonant sound is different. Here it is the bb, B consonant sound. Billion, Billion. With 100, 1000, 1,000,000, etc, you would probably only say ‘one’ if you were counting or to emphasize. In most cases, you would probably say a, a hundred, where the letter A would be pronounced as a schwa connected to the next word. A hundred, a thousand. I need a hundred dollars. Or, what would you do with a million dollars?